Every click, search, and interaction tells our story to brands. They track and learn who we are and what we like, their dancing discounts making their way into our screen-time within minutes of hitting “return.” Considering that the average American allocates five waking hours to their mobile devices, that’s a lot of data. A ton. But what about the “dark matter information” that sits in your pocket as you work, drive, and socialize?
Mogean is a startup mastering that ambient, mobile information. They specialize in the 10 hours when you aren’t actively using your phone. Mogean can tell what commutes you take to work, what time you finally break for lunch, what days you meet a friend, and whether you’re prone to new spots for date nights or consistently homebound for family time.
With background information – two-thirds of our waking life – Mogean can identify lifestyle patterns for businesses to create actionable market strategies. It’s both creepy and exhilarating.
With help from the Atlanta Technology Development Center (ATDC), the Atlanta Tech Village, and The Bridge, a selective commercialization program for startups backed by Coke and other major Atlanta companies, Mogean may be on its way to making data science history. Nate Halsey and Reid Maulsby, the co-founders of Mogean, explain to Hypepotamus why their supercharged software may heighten ideas about humanity.
What is Mogean and what makes it unique?
Halsey: Mogean is mobile, geospatial analytics. We are about a year and a half into our journey; we started in January of 2015. It was inspired out of a passion to create mobile software that would work for businesses and consumers without businesses or consumers having to work at it. We are really, really passionate about ambient, passive technologies that work in the background to improve our lifestyles.
It’s all about creating a big data set. The first thing we cracked was turning a mobile device into a data creation mechanism without negatively impacting the battery or end-user’s service; it doesn’t chew up all their data. So, we spent years creating this technology before we started Mogean. That is the first part and it becomes our gateway to creating this raw material that feeds into a very sophisticated data science platform on the backend that just converts this raw material into actionable consumer insights, based on the business’ needs.
Maulsby: We aren’t another company touting the benefits of data, and beating the big data drum. Mogean’s technology is unique because we are delivering a turnkey solution to both create the highest quality data, along with the ways and means to extract insights that deliver the power to materially affect our client’s business.
How can companies utilize the technology offered by Mogean?
Halsey: eMarketer says we have about 15 waking hours everyday. The average adult American then spends about five hours creating content and sharing information about themselves – that’s the surfing, the web-browsing, the mobile use. There about 10 hours when you aren’t interacting, even if doesn’t feel like that sometimes. If you compare that ratio, there is a whole dark matter of data that really makes up 60-70% of someone’s waking life. So, all these companies have matured and mastered online data, but we have created Mogean to passively tap into and capitalize into this hidden data that has always existed.
We tailor these audience insights according to the business results that they are trying to drive. If they are trying to understand share-of-wallet, like, How often does Nate Halsey go to Chick-fil-A versus Chipotle; is he a fan and participates in this hotel brand versus this other hotel brand? It’s about things like that.
Plus, there are really interesting operational use cases. One of our first customers are a fast-casual brand that is expanding rapidly. So, they already have sophisticated algorithms that can tell them where the best places are to open a store, but what this does is always working, telling them who are the most loyal customers – what do they look like, where do they live, where do they work, what are their commute patterns, where do they socialize, when do they hangout? And then, it is about creating dense, geographic pictures of that, telling the brand: If you haven’t already considered this area or, if you have, maybe, this reinforces it that it is something to consider for operational expansion. It is really about companies knowing more about the customer than they’ve ever known before, allowing them to plan, budget and measure marketing spin more intelligently. That’s pretty exciting.
You’ve grown quite a bit, both in client acquisition and staff. What has it been to like to develop so quickly?
Maulsby: We’ve moved from talking to small business and restaurant owners to showing the possibilities of our technology to the world’s largest companies and brands. We originally started conversations with a business’ technology leadership, and have transitioned to first selling the value we deliver to the C suite, and second talking about the technology details as part of vetting.
Halsey: It’s really exciting. Since last year, it has gone from a couple of us to now almost 20 and we are getting ready to grow again. It’s a lot of fun. We are just trying to catch the tiger by the tail.
Are you bootstrapping or receiving funding?
Halsey: We have a beautiful group of angels. We have gone through a couple rounds of funding, institutional funding with friends and family, really. We just closed out a really nice seed round that will help our burn through Q1 of next year.
Securing that means nothing. So, now that we are capturing positive feedback from reputable clients from different spaces, we are already chasing our Series A.
You are participants in The Bridge Program and ATDC. How have these two Atlanta accelerators helped you?
Halsey: The Bridge helped us knock down a lot of walls early on that have helped reinforce some assumptions that we made and throw out some other assumptions about taking this into a large global company. That was the promise of The Bridge program and that is really the beauty that they have followed up on. It has been tremendously helpful. I see now, only a few months in, that it has saved us a year of failing and spending money needlessly. I think it has just been a risk mitigation program for us. And that was the promise.
We are just really fortunate that, through programs like The Bridge, and ATDC incubator program, which we are going in-front of a panel to be named to the Signature Program. Being involved in these allow us to work directly with Fortune 100s, that would have taken us years to get in front of before.
You left successful careers at Coke to start a startup. Why did you leave the security of great jobs to launch Mogean?
Halsey: My co-founder and I are enterprise solution designers and implementers. We met at Coca-Cola and implemented a lot of their SAP modules.
We went through a lot of painful learning after we left our careers at Coca-Cola, just trying to build mobile apps and mobile platforms. Mogean is really the result of a lot of interesting discoveries and a lot of pivots. We learned that there was a big opportunity in the market to provide customer intelligence that has never been available before.
What’s on deck for Mogean in the immediate future?
Maulsby: We have a lot of exciting opportunities and companies that know they need the insights Mogean delivers, but our immediate goals are our current clients. We are working tirelessly to make our early customers phenomenally successful.
Halsey: Hopefully, the next 12 months will allow us to learn more even more about ourselves and bring on the right executive team. We just shored up our CEO position, and now we are trying to do the same on the revenue side and the technology side. My co-founder and I are really good on product management, but we know our limitations. So, we are excited to attract the right top-level talent and building out the right structure for the business development side.